I went to a German School in Lagos, Nigeria and as recently as the age of 13, I experienced my first identity crisis when my parents decided to return to Greece in the beginning of the 1980s. I wasn’t Greek, I wasn’t German, and I wasn’t Nigerian… what was I? And why didn’t I seem to ‘fit’ with my fellow countrymen… ?
Psychology or as I prefer to call it, ‘human behaviour’ is fundamental to who we are, what we do, why we think the way we think and most importantly why we FEEL the way we feel…. So, this is what this blog is about. I endeavour to discuss the most basic, and sometimes the not-so-basic issues that drive human behaviour.
Growing up in Nigeria and spending the first thirteen years of my life there, played a crucial role in how I have learned to navigate through challenges and overcome obstacles in my life. What some people might consider ‘normal’ activities such as going to school everyday, were major personal safety projects because of the political climate and conditions in Nigeria at that time. Growing up in this personal multi-cultural “mess”, my subsequent studies have led me to understand how these early years have had such a profound effect on me and affected every part of my life.
My life has always been affected by the concepts of ‘leadership’ and ‘human psychology’ whether it was in Nigeria when I was six and caught in the middle of students’ riots against the military government in the early 1970s or later where I am observing politicians giving speeches in the Greek parliament in a so-called ‘democracy’ that makes one wonder if they are sharing the same reality as ordinary folk or not. But then, reality is probably wonderfully expressed by Woody Allen when he said, “Reality…. what a concept”.
As I observe how leadership in a country that supposedly gave birth to democracy, has come to this sorry state of affairs, I am aware of the monumental task that lays ahead of future leaders in all parts of the world.
These experiences motivated me to develop my ideas against what appears to me to be a complete crisis of the psychology of leadership and humans in general and one that I am experiencing first-hand.
I am more than happy to respond to questions you may have, so in case you would like me to write about a specific issue, answer a specific question (and retain your anonymity) drop me an e-mail at my personal e-mail address: email@example.com
Maria has over 20 years of practical experience with a background in human resources, psychology and leadership and works with individuals, couples and teams privately as well as in organisations. She comes from a land known for its Great Classics like Socrates as well as the … Durrells (AKA Greece), while she grew up in Nigeria – where she spent the first 13 years of her life – and went to a British Kindergarten, a Greek primary school and German Secondary school. She has lived and worked in Greece, Germany, France and has traveled extensively around the world. She now lives in a small town outside Chester with her partner and their two “four-legged hairy” children (doggies). She has conducted ground-breaking research in trust (Library of Congress, USA) and she is also the co-author of ‘Under Pressure – understanding and managing pressure and stress at the workplace’, published by Marshall Cavendish International (UK). The book has been released in English, Portuguese and Chinese. For more information visit www.leadershippsychologyinstitute.com
In 2019 Maria’s world fell apart after her husband’s sudden terminal illness (very aggressive type of lung cancer). In the same year, she also lost her two doggies from kidney failure and one from old age. In her effort to find relief and build something constructive out of all this pain, she wrote a book about her experience. In Factions of a Mind, Maria has navigated this passing into an honest awakening to the stages of grief. Exploring the changes to one’s character, its effects on those around them and the difficulties we face as carers when confronted with the responsibility to manage and comfort our loved one in this process. She examines our role as the carer and learning how to manage the responsibilities to this role and the suffering it extends. To thoughtfully and honestly discuss our duty to care. As carers, our obligation to ‘care’ for the other has inexplicably meant that we do not equip ourselves with the tools and resources to ‘care’ for ourselves after their passing. Our inability to comprehend their loss and the stages of grief we are experiencing leave us vulnerable and open to further pain. The book will be published in July 2020 and all the proceeds will go to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd where her husband took his last breath.
Her other book, Group Dyna-Mix – Investigating team dynamics, from leaders to corporate gatekeepers will be released in November 2020. Since the 2008 financial crisis, existing methods of executive leadership have experienced in-depth scrutiny beyond their control. Executive leaders have been operating through silent, lucrative and confidential team dynamics that are difficult to access, and subsequently difficult to challenge and understand.
Maria explores the team-to-trust and trust-to-team relations between executives and their associates – attaining to the familial relations between these members and their unconventional codes of conduct. Under this umbrella of governance, directors, leaders and corporate gatekeepers operate in teams that are selected and trusted through unorthodox relations which must now come to light. Upon entry, Maria seeks to explore how these teams operate through a collective consensus of trust, the values this trust demands, the actions it produces, and the failures it can cause.